I stumbled on a tweet from the Royal Dutch Air Force announcing exercise Falcon Autumn. It’s an exercise to train airborne operations that was held from October 31 until November 18. Helicopter units from the Netherlands, Poland and the U.S.A. were to train deployment of infantry units. The helicopters would be based on the Luitenant-General Bestkazerne, aka Air Base De Peel.
The US was represented by the US Army’s 12th Combat Aviation Brigade. They dispatched Chinook and Apache helicopters. And above all–at least to me–Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. I had the Black Hawk high on my list of aircraft I wanted to see in real life. So, I did so research and hoped in my car to try to find Black Hawk helicopters.
I was actually just in time to see the last flight of the 12th CAB Black Hawks leave the base. Not the best of photos, but I did get to see Black Hawks. Mission accomplished. At least in part.
I did get a couple of good shots from the Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters from the 12th CAB lifting off. Watching 5 or so Chinooks take to the air at the same time, is quite impressive.
And I was quite pleased with the spotlight effect I got out of my PIXAPRO Optical Snoot Spot Projector and my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro. Definitely a setup to revisit in the near future.
I had made plans with Shannety and Romi for our 10th anniversary shoot in Antwerp over the summer. What they didn’t know, was that I also had invited Daria to join us for some more photos. I told Shannety and Romi about Daria. I told them that Daria is a good model and that I love working with her just as much as I like working with them. They had told me a few times that they would love to meet Daria. And what better way than having the 3 of them on the same shoot?
We all had a lot of fun during the shoot. And as these photos will prove: three was definitely not a crowd. These 3 together actually works perfectly!
These 3 are the most amazing models! And I’ve been working with all 3 for so long. Daria (on the left above) was actually the 1st model I ever worked with. That was back in 2006. Romi (in the middle above) and Shannety (on the right above) were contestants for a teen modelling contest when I met them back in 2012.
We’ve got help from the lovely miss Elem on this shoot. She did Shannety’s and Romi’s make up. The shoot wouldn’t have been a success without her craft. I just love Elem to death.
Fun story… In the middle of the shoot a young man walks up to me, glanced over to the girls and said: “Sir, I think you are the luckiest guy in the city today. You must be so happy.“ With a big smile on my face, I replied: “I am buddy! I sure am!”. This here photo is prove of that.
I met Romi and Shannety at a modeling contest back in 2012. We went on a photoshoot in Park Spoor Noord that year. Over the years, we kept in touch and worked together quite often. In 2017 it dawned on me that we were friends for 5 years and that it was 5 years since our 1st shoot together. Back then, we said we would do a city shoot in Antwerp every 5 years.
2022 marks the 10th anniversary of that 1st shoot. And that meant it was time for another shoot. In Zurenborg this time.
This year’s 10th anniversary shoot would not have been successful without the support of Elem. She did Romi’s and Shannety’s makeup. As she has done on so many of our shoots. She’s a great make up artist and I am glad she wants to work with me so often.
This is what 10 years of collaborations looks like:
The girls at Park Spoor Noord in 2012 (left), outside the MAS museum in 2017 (middle) and in Zurenborg in 2022 (right).
Remember my earlier post called Meet Me In The City? Well, Shannety and I shot another set that day. A little bit more my style, a little more edgy but still with the same class that only Shannety can bring. A bit of latex, a bit of vanilla clothes and a lot of fun… All we needed to make this series work.
The Axalp Fliegerschiessen Airshow is set in the Swiss Alps. It is basically an air show where F/A-18 Hornets of the Swiss Air Force fly live firing exercises. I saw quite some photos from the show the last few years. I thought it would be a good idea to attend the show.
But… What was I thinking? I must have been nuts when I came up with that idea! The climb to the top of the mountain is hard. Still recovering from a virus infection, my best buddy and I did not make it to the top. But we made it up high enough to shoot some good pics.
There was a special guest at this year’s airshow. The Italian Air Force sent 2 of their F-35’s for a short demo. They came in on the wings of a 4-ship of Swiss Hornets. All excited, I exclaimed: “Are those F-35’s? Yes, they are!” But the real exciting part was to get buzzed by one of the F-35’s. I was lucky to capture it with afterburners as it came through the valley at high speed.
An airshow in Switzerland would be complete without a demo of Patrouille Suisse of course. I’ve seen their show so many time at one of the Sanicole airshows over the years. Seeing them perform their show against the backdrop of the Swiss Alps is quite special.
The US Air Force F-35 demo and the Belgian Air Force F-16 demo were the highlights of the Sanicole Airshow weekend for me. But there was so much more to see. So here is the rest of my photos from that weekend.
The Swiss Hornet demonstration is always nice to see. And it was quite spectacular this year because there was so much humidity in the air. At one point captain Yannick ‘Fönsi’ Zanata was almost able to hide his F/A-18 in its own vapor cloud.
It was also nice to see Redbull’s shiny North American B-25 Mitchell. I had never seen that bird before. And not to forget: after a long time our friends of the Turkish Air Force paid Sanicole a visit again with the demonstration team The Turkish Stars.
There were quite a few helicopters there. Both flying and in the static display. The Royal Dutch Air Force sent an Apache helicopter. And there was even a Bell UH-1 “Huey” in the static display. I found that really cool.
The truth to be told: I shot some of these photos at Kleine-Brogel Airbase during the spottersday, the day before the actual Sanicole airshow.
You can always count on a strong presence of the Belgian Air Force at Sanicole airshow. The show is heavily and brilliantly supported by the men and women of Kleine-Brogel airbase. And pretty much every squadron of the BAF sent a representative to the show.
There is the star of the Belgian Air Force: our F-16 Solo Display. Vrieske and his Dream Viper got plenty of attention in a previous blog post.
But there were so much more demonstrations of the Belgian Air Force. Starting with the newest addition: the Airbus A400M Atlas of the 15th Wing Air Transport.
The home team has something to add to the airshow too. KeeBee’s 31SQN displayed their Thunder Tigers. And they few escort for the Ait Belgium Airbus A330 on one of its passes.
The 40th squadron, still based at Koksijde airbase, displayed the SAR capabilities of their NH-90FN. 40SQN is probably the most famous squadron of the Belgian Air Force. Back in the days when they still flew on Seaking they were the star of the hit TV-series Windkracht 10.
They were not the only helicopter demonstration team though. The team of Razzle Blades, flying out of Beauvechain, demonstrated the Augusta A-109.
And they last but to least: the Red Devils. Part of the 1st Wing out of Beauvechain and currently, flying the SIA Marchetti SF260, the Red Devils have been my favorite air force demonstration team since the 1970’s.
Joke proved that you can combine latex with just about any other fabric. That black shiny latex top and the tight corset she wore of her jeans were just the perfect combo.
After she wiggled out of her jeans, the fun really started. Joke put on a pair of ballet heels and she continued the shoot as if she wears ballet heels daily.